About Tai Chi and Health
The fast-paced yet sedentary
nature of modern life often
results in stress and lack of
sufficient physical activity.
Many thousands of individuals
have found the massage-like
movements of Tai Chi
to be an effective therapy for
a wide range of health problems,
including poor circulation,
headaches, high blood pressure,
arthritis, back pain, breathing
difficulties, digestive and
nervous disorders, to name but
Tai Chi has
an extra degree of stretching
and turning in each movement,
placing the emphasis on health
improvement. With diligent practice,
this type of movement produces
a profound effect on all systems
of the body by reducing tension,
improving circulation, and increasing
strength and flexibility.
proper circulation and relieving
tension in the muscles, ligaments
and tendons, Tai Chi
helps optimise the functioning
of the body, restoring health
and maintaining the proper functioning
of all systems, organs and tissues.
Tai Chi becomes an internal
art that penetrates deeper than
just the muscles, to benefit
the entire physiology of the
for the health benefits
The health benefits of
Tai Chi and other forms of Tai
Chi Chuan are numerous and well
documented. A review of medical
literature conducted by the
Tai Chi Society's Medical
Advisers found documented evidence
for the following effects of
regular Tai Chi practice:
Tai Chi is a moderate cardiovascular
training exercise, which also
has a significant effect on
Tai Chi can beneficially alter
the lipid profile, raising the
possibility that practising
Tai Chi might be favourable
in the prevention of atherosclerosis.
Tai Chi is one of the few exercises
that is appropriate for virtually
any person regardless of their
condition - it can even be done
in a chair or bed. It has also
been shown to improve the activities
of daily living for people with
rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis,
Parkinson's disease, multiple
sclerosis - to name a few.
Tai Chi helps regulate the immune
Tai Chi helps postural alignment
and helps reduce spinal degeneration.
Tai Chi is a weight bearing
exercise, which raises the possibility
of benefits for maintaining
Tai Chi is rated as a highly
effective exercise for prevention
of falls in the elderly.
An American organization named
the Claude Pepper Foundation,
Inc. did a scientific study
to determine the best method
of improving balance in persons
over age 65 and thereby decreasing
the risk of falls causing injury.
In a letter dated March 5, 1997,
"Our pilot results indicated
that the Tai Chi form
of exercise was far superior
to the traditional American
physical therapy intervention
to increase strength and enhance
balance in older persons".
practitioners whose patients
are practitioners of
Tai Chi or who are practitioners
themselves have recognized and
endorsed the health benefits
of Tai Chi. The following
extract is just one example.
of Tai Chi have the potential
for maintaining flexibility
of joints, improving balance
(thus preventing falls), increasing
strength of lower limbs and
correcting posture. Particular
attention is paid to spinal
movements and thereby stability
of the lower back.
The sequence also encourages
circulation of blood and lymph.
Because the set is performed
while standing, weight bearing
assists bone formation and the
prevention of osteoporosis.
of Tai Chi extend beyond
simply attaining physical health.
Concentration and recall are
demanded to acquire the sequence
of the 108 movements of the
set. An added bonus comes from
contact with others determined
to improve and thereby to continue
with a pleasant form of exercise."
Lefroy, FRACP, FAFRM, Senior
Honorary Research Fellow, Department
of Public Health, University
of Western Australia.